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Gaining Admission to a Great College: A Guide for Catholic Students

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In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, the importance of a solid education cannot be overstated. For Catholic students aspiring to make a mark in society, attending a great college or university is not just a stepping stone; it’s a launchpad for a successful and fulfilling adult life. William Michael of the Classical Liberal Arts Academy offers insightful advice for students and parents on how to navigate the college admission process, focusing on the unique opportunities and responsibilities that come with being a Catholic student.

Why Aim for a Great University?

The benefits of attending a renowned university are manifold. These institutions are often located in vibrant cities, offering students a chance to experience diverse cultures and lifestyles. The campuses themselves are usually architectural marvels, providing an inspiring environment for study and reflection. Moreover, great universities attract exceptional students and faculty, offering a peer group that is intellectually stimulating and professors who are leaders in their fields.

Being part of a prestigious university also means joining a network of accomplished alumni, which can open doors in your professional and personal life. Financially, top universities often have generous aid programs, making them accessible to students from various backgrounds.

What Do Great Colleges Look For?

Admissions committees at top universities are looking for well-rounded individuals who will contribute positively to their campus community. They seek students who excel academically, are passionate about learning, and demonstrate leadership and service in their extracurricular activities.

Catholic students, in particular, have a unique opportunity to represent their faith and values in a diverse academic setting. By engaging respectfully and thoughtfully with people from different backgrounds, they can enrich the university community and challenge stereotypes.

Preparing for Admission

The journey to a great college begins long before the application process. Students should focus on excelling academically, taking challenging courses, and performing well on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. Extracurricular activities should be chosen thoughtfully, emphasizing quality over quantity and demonstrating a commitment to service and leadership.

Building relationships with teachers and mentors is crucial, as their recommendations will carry weight in the application process. Students should also hone their writing skills, as essays play a significant role in conveying their character and aspirations to admissions committees.

The Role of Parents

Parents play a pivotal role in guiding their children towards a bright future. Encouraging a love for learning, exposing them to the culture of great universities, and supporting their academic and extracurricular pursuits are all essential. It’s also important for parents to understand the financial aspects of college education and to plan accordingly.

Embracing the Catholic Identity

For Catholic students, attending a secular or non-Catholic university does not mean compromising their faith. Most major universities have active Catholic communities and resources for spiritual growth. Engaging in dialogue and service within these diverse environments can strengthen their faith and broaden their perspectives.

Conclusion

Gaining admission to a great college or university is a significant achievement that can set the stage for a successful adult life. For Catholic students, it’s an opportunity to excel academically, grow personally, and live out their faith in a challenging and diverse environment. With the right preparation, support, and mindset, they can make the most of this transformative experience.


Transcript

Today is Thursday, February 29. And this is William Michael, of the classical liberal arts academy. Today I’d like to talk to students about how to gain admission to a great college or university. I’d like to talk about why you should desire to go to a great university. what universities are looking for, and what you need to do to get admitted. In modern American society, it’s popular, common for ignorant, common people to badmouth colleges and universities. It’s common for people to criticize the best schools, and make generalizations, accusations and so on about schools that they’ve never been to, that they’ve never studied at. Or that they have some other reason to criticize, like, the college has distanced itself from them or doesn’t support them. But we find these irresponsible statements from people about the great colleges and universities in America that accused them of becoming liberal, losing their mission, and so on. And anytime you hear a person label others as liberals, you can be sure that you’re listening to a person who’s wrapped up in party politics. What I’d like to encourage Catholic students to consider rather than retreating from academic society, rather than standing outside of the great universities, or of the academic community in general, and talking about it, like an idle gossip, I’d like to encourage Catholic students to see great universities as places where they can go, to not only learn and receive many great benefits for their lives, but also where they can go and represent the Christian faith represent the Catholic Church represent their own families, and so on. I’d like to encourage Catholic students to see the great colleges and universities as a target destination as they move from their years of preparatory school studies into adulthood as a place to get their adult lives started. On good footing. There are many reasons to desire to attend a great university. I’ll just list a number of them. First of all, usually great universities are in great places. They’re usually in great areas, great cities. And the opportunity to live for four or more years in those places, provides young men and women with great experiences the opportunity to live in great places. Another reason is because the campuses are often beautiful. And they’re inspiring environments that help students to study, to think, to pray, to plan their futures to think about their future goals and so on. They’re inspiring places. The buildings are beautiful. The Ark Capture is beautiful, the campuses are beautiful. They’re inspiring places. And it’s good for young adults to be in inspiring places. Third, great colleges and universities usually have great students. It’s a great place for young adults to go to make friends to find good classmates, to make lifelong connections to find possible partners, whether those be marriage partners or business partners. It’s a great place to meet great people. Fourthly, great colleges and universities are great places for enjoying great professors. The best professors aspire to work at the best colleges and universities. They’re the most well known professors, they’re the most highly paid professors, they’re usually leaders in their fields. And to be able to major in a certain subject and be taught by professors who are leaders in that subject is a great opportunity. Often also, many of those professors have professional connections in the field that you’re interested in. Get getting a reference letter, or recommendation from such a professor is a great benefit. And could lead to all kinds of opportunities in the future. So having great professors is another reason to aspire to attend a great university. Another reason is because the university you attend becomes a part of your culture for the rest of your life becomes your alma mater, you’ve become an alumnus of that school. And the benefits of being an alumnus of a great college or university are often very great, you have all kinds of benefits and resources available, that aren’t available from other schools. You can take pride in your college or university for the rest of your life. So there are many reasons. Another reason would be that great colleges and universities are usually very well endowed financially. They have lots of money, they’ve got great financial aid programs. And it can actually be more affordable to attend a great university than to attend an inferior college or university. Even if that college has a lower advertised tuition, because an inferior college will not have the financial aid resources that a great university has. So as I said, there are many reasons why it’s desirable to attend a great university. I think personally, the most important reason is that by working to gain admission to a great university, you gain for yourself. Great classmates, great roommates, great friends. Because the college is going to do the work of filtering out the applicants and see that the students who are chosen and admitted to the school are the best students, the best people, the most promising young men and women and if you can get yourself into their number one of the best advantages is that you get to enjoy that community of people so working to gain admission to a great college or university is worthwhile. The question we have to ask if we decide that we desire to attend a great college or university is What are these colleges and universities looking for in students? What are they looking for. And based on what I said before, this becomes pretty clear these colleges have tremendous resources. And what they’re looking for each year is a group of students who they believe will make the best possible use of those resources. They’re looking through piles and piles of applications. For a collection or group of students who they can bring together on campus and create the best group of students, and future alumni possible. They’re looking for diverse students. Because it’s good for us to study and learn in a democratic society. With a diversity of classmates, it’s good for us to have discussions about controversial subjects and topics with people who represent different groups in society to get to know them personally, to not speak as ignorant people do about other groups as strangers based on stereotypes or prejudices, but to actually know these people personally, to understand who they are, how they live, what they believe. And be able to recognize false statements made about them. It’s good to it’s good to learn about the world and about different different ideas, different religions, different philosophies. By actually living with and speaking to representatives of those different groups. ignorant people do the opposite. They talk about people that they themselves have never lived with, and who they don’t speak to. But college admissions groups are looking to put together the best possible class of students that they can, and they look at a number of different factors. Obviously, being academic institutions, they look at academic records. They look for solid academic work. They look to see if a student loves to study, loves to learn, wants to study, looks for opportunities to study is interested in many different branches of learning, and isn’t simply checking the boxes of minimum requirements isn’t a person who wants to be ignorant, and would be ignorant if they were allowed to be so colleges are looking for students who wants to study who wants to be intellectuals who want to research who wants to have intelligent discussions who want to write papers, who want to use libraries, and work in research labs and so on. Who want access to those resources are going to make good use of those resources. And so when a student prepares a transcript or an application, and we see on there, just the minimum requirements. Who would want to have that student as their classmate who would want to have as a classmate, a student who does the minimum. A student who doesn’t like to study a student who doesn’t study when teachers aren’t looking or when mom and dad aren’t around. No one wants a classmate Next that. And that’s why those students are not accepted. Because the university is looking to find classmates that will be real blessings to the other students who are admitted. So a question students should be asking themselves is, would I be a great classmate? What benefits would I offer to my fellow students? What would I contribute? How would I help them? And the answer to that is, you should strive to be the best student that you can possibly be. So that you can be the best classmate that you can possibly be. And by making yourself the best potential classmate you can you make yourself attractive to these great colleges and universities. One of the things I think is most encouraging or should be most encouraging for Christian students is that these colleges and universities are not asking you to abandon your family religion or culture, your way of thinking, and so on, they’re not asking you to be something else, they’re not asking you to take on a certain character. There are simply asking you to participate in a diverse community in a respectful, reasonable, civil manner. And so they’re looking for signs that you’re capable of doing. So. One of the ways that they look for signs that you’re capable of living well, among other students is for extracurricular activities, where you have a leadership position, especially if that leadership position is earned or gained by an election, where you’re chosen by your peers, to be their leader. Leadership Experience shows that people around you like you, they respect you, they trust you. They want to follow you. And so you may hear that schools are interested in extracurricular activity, but what that really means is they’re looking for signs from your life and activities. That other people like being around you, that other people trust you. Other people find you helpful. Other people see you as an example, to follow. They’re looking for leadership experience. If you play sports, they’re not looking to see how many touchdowns you scored. Or how many tackles you made, or how many home runs you hit. What they’re looking for is whether your coaches and teammates chose you to be a team captain. They’re looking to see whether you won any character awards. They’re looking to see if you participate in your community, if you serve your community. For Catholic students, if you’re an altar server or an assistant Sunday School teacher where you help at the soup kitchen, they’re looking for signs that you’re a generous person, that you’d be a great classmate. And so it’s not just extracurricular activities, as if having a certain number or just being busy all the time will impress anyone. It’s a certain quality of activities outside of the classroom. That recommend you as a great classmate, as a great member of the school community, someone who’s generous Someone who’s humble someone who is active, someone who’s respectable and trustworthy, and so on. And you manifest these virtues through extracurricular activities of a certain kind, and certain quality. And you can see how difficult it is to gain those kinds of honors, and gain that kind of experience. Because whereas many people fill out applications and write about themselves and praise themselves, these awards require that that praise come from others. And it’s not easy to gain praise from others. And so, yes, colleges look at extracurriculars to to see whether you have certain virtues, certain qualities that would make you a great classmate. Another factor that great colleges and universities look for is letters of recommendation or reference letters. Again, they don’t ask you for your opinion of what you think about yourself. They asked for the judgment of a person who works with hundreds and hundreds of students, and has done so for years and years. They asked for the opinion of an experienced teacher or counselor, or pastor. Most importantly, they’re looking for the opinion of an adult, they’re looking for the opinion of someone who has attended a great college or university himself, who knows what it’s like living and studying at a great college or university. To see whether or not that person thinks that this student has the right character for such an environment. That’s why they especially like, reference letters and recommendations from alumni of the school. People they trust will look out for the reputation of the school who understand what it means to be a member of that school community whom they’d recommend, as a future student. reference letters are hard to obtain, especially quality reference letters. And while you know, teachers may agree to write a reference letter, there’s a very great difference between a good reference letter and a meaningless reference letter. A good reference letter will testify to all of those virtues that the colleges are looking for. A good reference letter will testify that a student loves to study a student goes above and beyond the requirements. A student seeks out resources for learning. A student is a great, a great member of the school community. The student is respected by classmates and teachers. A reference letter like that is not easy to come by. And has to be earned through relationships developed with teachers and other adults over time. And so reference letters and recommendations are a very important factor that’s considered by great colleges and universities. And then, of course, the colleges and universities they ask students to write essays. Usually, they’ll present a student with a controversial question to write about, or they’ll ask for a personal statement about why the student thinks that he or she would be a good member of the school community and all of these ideas that I’m talking about should be considered in such an essay, but what they’re looking for, again, is to find out not necessarily what a student believes or thinks about a certain issue. But they’re looking to see how a student communicates his thoughts, his feelings, his beliefs, his experiences, on certain issues. They’re looking to see whether the student is reasonable. whether the student is respectful, whether the student presents evidence for things he says. They’re looking through these essays into the mind, and heart of this unknown student to try and help them judge whether this student would be a good member of their community, a good classmate. And all of these resources are gathered together in the application packet. But it has to be understood that this application is not something that’s put together during a student’s senior year. But that this application is simply the summary of years and years of living well, as a Christian. It’s simply a summary. It’s a report of teenage years well lived, lived with a purpose lived with the intention of moving on from childhood living at home, under the authority of parents and moving into adulthood. responsibly, optimistically, confidently, courageously and seeking to establish an adult’s life on the best possible foundation. Now, most students, most students don’t even think about these things until they’re in their last year of high school, and they start to realize that graduation is coming. And as soon as they receive their high school diploma, their school years are over. And they start to ask questions about what they’re going to do next. And they start to hear stories about what their classmates are doing next. And all of this deceiving artificial school life begins to vanish. In front of them. They find out that some of the kids who they goofed around with in high school are the sons and daughters of business owners. And those kids are just going to take over businesses owned by their parents, where things are already prepared for them. They find out that some of their classmates have been behind the scenes, doing all their schoolwork and have been involved in all different kinds of activities in the community, and have prepared well for life after high school and that they’re going on to great colleges and universities and most students find themselves at the end of their high school years. unprepared for the next step. And being unprepared. They begin to make all kinds of bad decisions. Because they simply haven’t thought ahead and gotten themselves ready for adult life. Often this is their parents fault because their parents have encouraged them to do things that were irresponsible, where their parents had Miska misguided ideas about what the kids should be doing. For example, with respect to extracurricular activities, many parents sign their kids up for 1000 Different In activities and have these poor kids running around all over the place participating in 100 different activities, none of which are significant. Some kids are so concerned about getting their driver’s license or having a car that they’ve been working 1520 30 hours a week, at part time jobs in order to have some cash and are just completely unprepared for the next step of their lives and are worried about making money that really isn’t adult money. Because they just have their priorities out of order. And so they learn about these things and begin thinking about these things when it’s too late. To prepare for them. Now, now, these situations are not hopeless. But students who find themselves in those situations have to learn what to do, how to recover, how to get on their feet, and move forward. But if students are fortunate to learn to think about these things, when they’re still young 12 1314. And they’ve got years to work and prepare to start their adult lives as well as possible. They can get themselves in position to gain admission to the best colleges and universities. And parents have to understand these things as well. Because many parents make mistakes that really hinder their children’s entrance into adulthood and set all kinds of obstacles before them, especially when it comes to worrying about kids becoming financially independent at an inappropriate time, namely, when they first enter into legal adulthood. But when students understand what great colleges and universities are looking for, and how important it is to attend a great college or university as the foundation and launching pad for one’s young adult life, they’ve got to work to put themselves into the best possible situation. By the time they’re 18, or 19 years old. And as I said, if a student makes a mistake or isn’t prepared, it’s not the end of the world. They can recover. They can even recover and rise to the highest levels, if they get their act together. But for students who do have the opportunity to prepare well, they have to think about what’s needed and make sure that they concentrate on those things. The first thing is they have to be extraordinary students, they have to be devoted to academics, we have to realize that as rational creatures, our intellectual activity is our most important activity. Human beings do intellectual work. That’s what makes human work to be human work. There will never be a time when machines or robots or computers take the intellectual work from intelligent human beings. All other kinds of work can be taken away by machines and robots and computers but intelligent human work will never be done by machines. And therefore the most secure future one can prepare for is one whether the person exercises his intellect and so as students are coming up into their teenage years into high school years. They’ve got to devote themselves to studies and intellectual activity. They’ve got to seek out as every great college and university says the most challenging course of study available to them. They cannot look at lists of minimum requirements. They cannot look around and do what other students are doing. They have to ask the question, what is the most rigorous course of intellectual study available to me. And they have to pursue that as early and as intensely as possible because every student applying to a great college or university is going to have a strong academic record. Every student they’re all going to be straight A students, they’re all going to have high SATs scores. They’re all going to have strong academic records. But to gain admission to a great college and university, a student has to have something that distinguishes him and this is where classical Catholic studies become so valuable. Yes, a student has to complete all of the modern high school requirements, has to study the natural sciences and modern mathematics has to study foreign languages and English language arts. But all the students, all the applicants are going to have those same courses listed on their transcripts. And so, having access to classical Catholic studies, provides Catholic students with a great advantage. And they’ve got to do both. They’ve got to make use of that advantage. They’ve got to have an outstanding academic record. That is a sign of their devotion to intellectual life intellectual activity. They’ve got to show themselves to be individuals who love to study who would be great classmates for other students who love to study. And that takes years and years of consistent academic work. It’s not something that can be made up for in one senior year. They’ve got to have high LSAT scores. And while the LSAT and a CT may be optional at present student who desires admission to a great college or university should not consider the LSAT to be optional, because it’s an opportunity for him to show his ability and the LSAT has been proven to be a very effective predictor of success during the first few years of college that’s what’s valuable about it. Students should make sure they study all the subjects that affect their LSAT score and they should make sure that they devote time to studying specifically for the LSAT taking practice tests and earning the highest possible score because a low score on the LSAT is an automatic disqualifier. And the reason why is because the great colleges and universities publish the average LSAT scores of their incoming students and they will not let students drag those averages down. So having a high LSAT score will not guarantee that you get into a great school. But having a low LSAT score will guarantee that you do not get into a great school. The LSAT has to be prepared for the use of the students time has to be taken very seriously. A student has to use his teenage years to prepare for his adult life, he’s got to take advantage of opportunities to participate in activities that show his character that show him to be a good member, a generous member, an unselfish member of his community, of His church, of his neighborhood, and so on. Students should consider activities that are not necessarily the most popular. But that might be the most significant. If a student wants to participate in sports, for example, he may like playing basketball. But there may be more opportunities for leadership and character building in less popular sports, like running, track and field or swimming or some other less popular but more significant athletic opportunity. Students should continue to consider opportunities to serve in their churches in ways that show themselves to be responsible members of the community who help others. There are always opportunities in churches for students to serve as, as altar servers or to assist with faith formation classes. We’re not talking about we’re not talking about one time volunteer work like visiting a soup kitchen. We’re talking about commitment to a certain activity, like being a permanent volunteer at a soup kitchen or at the local hospital. Something that’s done consistently. Over time, students should take very seriously opportunities to participate in military organizations like the Junior ROTC, students should seriously consider military careers while I’m on the subject, which directly apply to college admission because any young man or young woman who’s interested in a military career, who would like to serve as an officer in the military can do so by going to college as an ROTC cadet. But extracurricular activities need to be carefully chosen, and pursued, to actually do good and demonstrate mature generous community involvement. And again, there’s very little benefit in things like part time jobs and stuff like that, because that really has nothing to do with the intellectual or academic life. And I think this is something parents need to be careful with that they don’t pressure their children to try to start making money at a time when it’s really not appropriate for them to do so. Ask for recommendation letters. Students should seek to build relationships with teachers to show themselves to be driven, responsible, curious, eager students. Students should consider what people are available in their lives who could be sources for recommendations and who the highest quality references might be. And they should talk to them about those opportunities. They should ask, you know, I would really like for you to write a letter of recommendation for me when I apply to such and such college or university? What would I need to do to receive such a letter from you? I know that if a student asks me a question like that, I’m happy to tell them exactly what I would like for them to do. If they’d like me to write that letter, I basically tell the students look, you can write the letter yourself. But I can’t sign it unless you make it to be true. And so ultimately, it’s going to come down to what you do. And whatever you do, whatever you prove yourself to be, I’ll be happy to testify to that with a letter of recommendation, but I’m not going to write some dishonest letter puffing you up when you don’t deserve any such praise. And students need to think about what they’re going to do for references and recommendations. They need to build relationships with respectable adults. And they need to prove themselves to those adults over time so that those adults can write for them glowing, enthusiastic letters of recommendation that are honest, and effective. And great colleges and universities know what recommendation letters look like that are just a bunch of baloney. Because they can see the other factors in a student’s application, the other parts of the application and see that those things are simply not true. Students need to most importantly, devote themselves to the intellectual life, because we’re talking about colleges and schools, we’re talking about universities. Students need to devote themselves to human works, works of the intellect, they need to study they need to write, they need to talk. They need to be involved in academic activity. They need to think about their future realistically. And practically, they need to think about future plans and ask whether what they claim to have interest in in the future is actually represented in the activities they currently participate in. For example, if you say I want to go to law school, I want to be a physician. What activities in your life actually suggest that you have a sincere and promising interest in that profession. If you say I want to be a professional dancer, and I’m applying for admission to this great dance school or great university dance program, what evidence is there that you actually are committed to becoming a professional dancer? It’s not difficult for a school to look into your life and see whether that’s a serious plan for your future. Or whether it’s just some childish nonsense talk. So another thing that schools look for is what’s called promise of success. Whether there’s reason to believe that what you say you want to do in the future, is something you’re actually committed to. And the schools will look for signs that suggest that you are in fact, serious about those plans. So these are the things that parents and students need to think carefully about because gaining admission to a great college or university city could be one of the most important steps in establishing a happy, adult life. Surrounding oneself with the best possible classmates. putting oneself in an inspiring environment, putting oneself in a great financial situation, putting oneself in connection with great professors and teachers and mentors, who can help them transition from college into their career fields. Admission to the best college or university could be the most important step in a student’s adult life. And it’s a relatively easy step, because especially in the present generation, there are just so many young men and women in high school that are just lost and don’t have any direction don’t have any support or guidance or advice for how to prepare. And by the time they figure out what’s going on, they’re already falling behind. And as I said, if if you find yourself in such a position, there are ways out. But the goal is to not fall behind. But to get these things in mind early, really, when students are in middle school to help them understand why it’s desirable, to gain admission to a great college or university and then through their high school years to help them to prepare. One of the advantages that we have in the classical liberal arts academies is that our students can begin studying courses in subjects while they’re young, that are a part of their high school transcript. And that allows their transcript to become richer and richer. Just so many advantages, which I’ll talk about in a minute. But kids really need to understand that in modern society. Admission to a great college or university is really one of the best things that a student can do to get off on the right foot. It’s an it’s an intelligent, competitive, specialized, high tech, modern culture we live in. And kids have to be very careful who they listen to when it comes to making decisions about study and work and so on. There is a there’s a very loud I don’t say influential, nor do I say large because it’s it’s really a relatively small number of people, but they get on social media, and other platforms, and they’re loud. And they, they bash colleges, and they criticize universities and they praise things like mechanical trades and and going from high school right into business and work and they tell kids that they shouldn’t go to college. And this advice is just irresponsible. Really stupid advice. short sighted, selfish and usually hypocritical. Usually the people saying these things are advising others to do the opposite of what they not only did themselves but what they actually benefit from in their adult lives. And I just want to say that anything that you could do after high school without a college degree, you can also do with a college degree, so it makes no sense to pretend that there’s this either or decision to be made. When you can do both. And for all the complaining thing that people do about college about how all the standards are so low all anybody can do that. If that’s true, then go do it. If it’s so easy, why not just go get it done? And the answer is because it’s not so easy. And those people are dishonest. And they take no responsibility for the future of the people they advise. They take no responsibility for the consequences of the advice they give. And as I said, they can be very loud in certain areas, but they need to be ignored. We live in a high tech, modern society. I tell my own kids this all the time. The US military does not fight against opponents by by running and jumping and climbing and fist fighting. The US military fights against our opponents through technology. The strength of our economy determines the strength of our military. Our technological advances determine the strength of our military. It’s about technology. In business, it’s about technology. In learned professions, it’s the ability to solve new problems. It’s often about networking, and working together with other people. It’s about partnering with licensing organizations and accreditation agencies, it’s about working with government agencies, and so on. And then there are all sorts of other things to consider like political activity, religious service, community service, and so on in adult life, which a college education greatly helps students to prepare for. There are many, many reasons why Going to college is important for students. And every one of those reasons recommends that students seek the best college or university they can possibly gain access to, because the benefits increase at the best colleges and universities and one of one of the unfortunate things in modern America is that there are so many private colleges, so many small colleges run entirely as businesses that there are 1000s and 1000s of students absolutely wasting their time and money. At bad colleges and universities, private colleges and universities that offer them none of the advantages that they need from colleges and this is especially true of Catholic colleges, Christian colleges, and so on. Many of these schools, despite their attempts to offer some kind of Catholic culture, or religious benefits, lack all of the benefits that are needed from a college and remember, no student needs to go to a college and pay tuition to enjoy the fullness of the Catholic life. The sacramental life is available at no cost to every Catholic in every place. And Catholics have to be very careful that they don’t allow themselves to be misled by Catholic colleges that use the sacraments as marketing tools to attract Catholic kids to useless colleges and universities. Be very careful. Every major college every great University has a Catholic community. On campus. There are priests there are chapels. There are chaplains. Student students can go to Mass and Confession there are student groups that meet on and off campus. No one needs to go to a Catholic college To maintain a Catholic sacramental life while in college. And so I recommend that if you are interested in a certain college, just hop online and searched to find out what Catholic life is like at that college or university and you’ll find there are Catholic groups on campus off campus. There are religious communities that minister to the students and so on. And you really can have the best of both worlds in many of those places. Now, if you’re a parent, what I recommend is that you try to inspire your child to desire to attend a great college or university. Enjoy, introduce your children, to the great colleges and universities. Go visit the great colleges and universities. When Army and Navy are playing on television, watch the game and let let your kids see the pageantry. And all of the tradition of the military academies, let them see that stuff, let them watch the annual Harvard Yale football game around Thanksgiving time. As I said, visit, great campuses, let your kids take online courses. There are many, there are many affordable courses your kids can take one program that my kids enjoy is called one dream. And you can find courses that are taught by college professors and kids can get a taste of what it’s like to be in a college classroom with a great professor. Let your kids watch lectures on YouTube from leading professors at different universities, introduce them to this culture, introduce them to these things. Let them see the campuses, let them learn of the traditions, let them learn about the culture. They can attend summer activities at different colleges and universities. There are all kinds of things that kids can do. There are dual enrollment opportunities, where students can complete high school requirements through college courses, whether in person or online. But parents have to have to do the work of introducing their kids to quality college culture, and introduce them to the best colleges and universities help them to learn about them. So I hope that that’s a helpful overview of how students can prepare, and why students should be motivated to attend great colleges and universities. There’s a lot for parents to do. There’s a lot for students to do. But we have to weigh all things and ask if if there’s one or two things we could do that would have the greatest impact on our children’s adult life. Surely one of them would be to gain admission to the best possible college or university. And I think that it’s a goal. That should be a focus for good students. And it’s one that’s got to be focused on early so that preparations can be made. And if you disagree, what I would ask is, what would the alternative be? What would the superior alternative be? What would be better? You’re not going to come up with an answer. I know as I said, I know it’s popular, not popular, really just noisy, to talk about moving from high school into business or trades. But our society is not designed to work like that. And really, to be honest, an 18 year old who has the skill and resourcefulness. To get right to business would have no problem completing college studies and be in a better position in four or five years and still be able to Do whatever he could have done out of high school. So I think those arguments really fall apart if they’re allowed to be cross examined. Now in the classical liberal arts academy, I work constantly to try to give the kids access to everything that they need for this preparation, this is, this is why I pursue accreditation for them. This is why I pursue my own studies, why I’m currently working at Harvard, I do it for the sake of my students. I do it to try to provide them with every advantage and opportunity and resource that I can to help put them in position to succeed. But unfortunately, in modern Christian culture, there’s an aversion to college study that’s being influenced or promoted by really ignorant sources. And it’s hard for me to help kids get past that it’s hard for me to help kids get past obstacles that their parents are setting in their path. And as I said, their parents don’t have better alternatives. It’s just this modern, critical Christian spirit that thinks that tearing things apart, bad mouthing institutions, making generalizations about society is some kind of wisdom, but it doesn’t actually solve any problems. It’s much better to take advantages of existing opportunities to make use of existing institutions and resources and turn them to good use. That’s what I recommend. And I’d like to see Christian students make use of classical Catholic studies, to pursue admission to the best colleges and universities if there’s anything that I can do to help. I am happy to do it. If you’d like to talk about your unique situation more, I recommend scheduling a consultation meeting. And we can do that I can help you with planning with transcripts with recommendation letters and so on. But we’ve got to get that work. started early. We can’t wait until the last minute. It’s not how it works. So if there’s any way I can help you with that, please get in touch but visit us at the at the classical liberal arts academy, the websites classical liberal arts.com There’s tons of resources there and help is always available. So I hope you find this helpful. God bless

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